During this 214th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Zach Peikon, who specializes in senior-level executive search for chief marketing officers, chief growth officers, and other sales and digital leaders at Korn Ferry.

Today, we talk about demystifying the executive search function, the types of characteristics they’re looking for in the next generation of CMOs, and the differences required to make the transition from chief marketing officer to GM or CEO.

Peikon shares how he became involved in the world of executive search; then, he provides insights into what CMOs are most concerned about right now and discusses the volatile position CMOs have in the C-Suite. Peikon says, “Digital transformation was critical before and is of even more importance now.” We talk about the characteristics of a best-in-class CMO. He says, “Best-in-class CMOs understand how to manage ambiguity, engage and inspire others, develop a strategic vision, and drive results. They’re adaptable, confident, and curious. And they’re resilient in the face of obstacles and they can work collaboratively across an organization.” Peikon demystifies the executive search process, and we learn how CMOs can position themselves for GM and CEO roles. This discussion offers a valuable perspective on how to differentiate yourself as a marketing leader. 

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Zach’s path to executive search. 01:33
  • How CMOs perceive the challenges and opportunities ahead. 04:22
  • How the CMO role is evolving in light of COVID. 06:54
  • Defining a best-in-class CMO. 09:24
  • What CEOs today want from their CMOs. 11:59
  • Demystifying the executive search process. 15:06
  • Zach’s advice for marketers wanting to move into GM and CEO roles. 17:45
  • Zach’s thoughts on bringing representatives from marketing into the board room. 20:36
  • Is there an experience in his past that defines who he is today? 22:58
  • What is the advice Zach would give to his younger self? 25:31
  • The most impactful purchase he has made in the last 6-12 months of $100 or less. 27:16
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Zach follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 28:25
  • Zach’s take on the top opportunity and threat facing marketers today. 30:24

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.